A heart stent or coronary stent is a small mesh tube inserted into the blocked artery to keep it widened for a steady flow of blood to the heart muscles. Heart stents are completely safe for the right patient with proper procedure of insertion and good after-care.
Are Heart Stents Dangerous?
It would be wrong to say that there will not be any risk associated with heart stents, but suck risks arise in case of lack of care. Stent placement is not the ultimate cure to blockages. Care must be taken to prevent further blockages to arise.
Stent placement in an artery is a part of coronary angioplasty to widen the narrowed artery for proper blood flow. Certain risks can occur in case of lack of proper care. These include:
- Stented arteries have a probability to develop blood clots in the stent site. This increases the chances of heart attack or stroke and other serious problems. The risks of blood clots are greatest during the first few months of stent placement. There are medicines which prevent blood clots. The doctor may prescribe such medicines which need to be taken for quite a few months.
- There may be an infection in the blood vessel of the stent placement.
- There is a chance of re-blocking of the artery. To avoid this, lifestyle changes and regular walking, exercise are mandatory to keep the heart’s blood vessels healthy.
- A patient may be allergic to the iodine dye inserted into the blood vessels during the angiogram. Patients are advised to drink plenty of water to flush out the iodine dye through urine as fast as possible.
How to Prepare For a Heart Stent Insertion?
There are various types of heart stents that can be used, and preparations depend on the type of stent to be used as well as the patient’s health. General preparations include:
- Patients should inform the doctor about the drugs and medical supplements which are used.
- Knowledge of any kind of allergy to iodine dye should be informed beforehand to the doctor.
- Patient should quit smoking and alcohol.
- Patient should inform the doctor about the presence of any illness including even flu.
- Patient should not drink water or any fluids few hours before the surgery.
- All instructions given to the patient should be strictly followed for a successful recovery.
How to Take Care After the Surgery?
Proper care and precautions should be taken to avoid re-blockages in the heart arteries. Few precautions involve:
- Patient might feel some kind of soreness at the incision point. The doctor may prescribe mild painkillers to reduce the pain. Such medicines are to be taken.
- Patient may be kept in the hospital overnight to ensure no complications. At times, a patient may be asked to stay for a longer period of time for observation of the doctor feels.
- Patient will be asked to drink plenty of fluids to flush out the iodine dye from the system.
- Patient will be asked to strictly avoid vigorous movements and strenuous activities for few days after the surgery. This speeds up the healing process.
How to Prevent Re-Blocking of Heart Arteries?
The patient should be careful enough and bring few lifestyle changes to ensure healthy heart arteries. It will be advised to keep a check on the Cholesterol level, blood pressure level and body weight. A balanced diet with minimal use of oil is recommended. Oily and fast food must be avoided as much as possible. Smoking and alcohol should be avoided. Light physical exercise and brisk walking may be recommended for healthy body functioning.
- What is a Stent to the Heart?
- Are Heart Stents Permanent?
- How Long Does an Angiogram and Stent Placement Take?
- Why Would You Need A Stent In Your Heart?